KAMPALA – Citizen Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU) has asked Ugandan to actively participate in the electoral process as Electoral Commission announced that the display of the National Voter’s Register will start on February, 19 and end on March 10, 2020.
CCEDU says the display exercise is very critical to every Ugandan who is 18 years and above because it is the last opportunity to ensure you will vote in the 2021 elections.
Besides the National Voter Register display exercise, the Electoral Commission will also display the registers for the special interest groups, namely: Youth, Persons with Disabilities, (PWDs) and older persons of each village.
The display of the special interest groups will start on 19th February and end on 28th February 2020. For the young people who may find it cumbersome to visit display center’s engage in the process through the EC online portal.
Why it is important to participate:
It is important to participate in the process because as a voter;
- You get to check and /or correct your particulars on the voter’s register.
- You get to confirm that your information is matched well with your photograph on the register. From past experience, it is very possible for a person’s biodata to be matched with a wrong picture. This causes a lot of unrest on polling day and at times the presiding officer might ask a voter not to cast their vote. But if such an incident happened it would not only affect one voter but two. The one who owns the picture and the one that owns the information. Therefore, to secure your right to vote, it is imperative that you participate in the display exercise.
- The display exercise will ensure the particulars of the dead or those who; left a certain electoral area maybe because they went to work abroad or they shifted is removed.
- The display exercise will ensure that Ugandans aged below 18 years are removed from the register.
- The exercise will ensure that those who do not reside or originate from a parish are removed from the register.
- The display will also ensure that those who may be registered in another polling station are removed.
- And the exercise will ensure that those who appear twice on the register are left to only appear once.
The exercise as described means that a lot of changes and corrections are going to be made on the register, but it differs from the update process because this time around the display officers will not be registering new voters’ but will just be verifying facts concerning voters.
The Electoral Commission has hired display officers to manage the display of the National Voter’s register and the special interest group registers. The display officers will be trained between 11th and 17th February 2020.
Political parties should take advantage of the display exercise to mobilize their supporters to check that their details are accurate on the register. This will increase participation of the electorate in the exercise, but it will also promote transparency of the process. Political parties should also pay special attention to the training of display officers.
The electoral commission at the stakeholder’s meeting promised to institute the parish tribunals to advise on any issues of contention or recommendation needed to have a clean register. The tribunals will be comprised of two elders (60 years and above) and 3 other members appointed in consultation with political parties/organizations participating in the elections.
The 2021 election is largely a youth election, and it is our most singular opportunity as young people to let our voices be heard through the ballot, but it starts with verifying that we are on the register.